Major Appliances in Western Europe

June 2021

With sales already struggling due to maturity in many of its categories, major appliances recorded a sharp decline in Western Europe in 2020 as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the measures taken to contain its spread. The economic impact of the pandemic has also seen consumers become more careful in their spending, especially on big-ticket items. Although improved performances are expected from 2021, a return to 2019 sales levels will not be seen before the end of the forecast period.

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Key Findings

Growth already struggling prior to 2020

Major appliances recorded negative growth rates in 2018 and 2019 in Western Europe. This was due, to a large extent, to significant falls in Turkey and slightly declining sales in Germany. As the region’s biggest market, Germany has a major influence on the overall Western European performance, with high penetration rates of many major appliance products holding back growth here. Turkey was hit by the termination of the temporary tax exemption on durable goods, a depreciating local currency, rising unemployment and low consumer confidence.

Pandemic impacts sales in 2020

An even steeper decline was seen in the region in 2020, when it was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures to contain the spread of the virus, eg lockdowns or retail closures, hit sales, as did falling disposable incomes. Shoppers are generally keen to examine major appliances before buying them, making non-essential bricks-and-mortar store closures a particularly negative development.

EU’s new energy labels

The EU’s new energy label requirements came into effect from March 2021. All white goods sold in EU countries from this time will need to feature an updated sticker communicating their energy rating, with the current classifications of “A+”, “A++” and “A+++” replaced by a new scale of lettering from A to G, with “A” being the most ecologically friendly. This could entail manufacturers having to undertake significant work to bring their models up to the desired rating.

Slow recovery expected

Major appliances will see only a slow recovery in Western Europe over the forecast period, to the extent that sales will still be some way short of 2019 levels by the end of 2020-2025. Much of the region was still in the grip of second or third waves of the pandemic in early 2021, including lockdowns and retail closures, with many consumers also hit by the economic impact of COVID-19.


Key findings

Regional Overview

Above-average sales growth for Western Europe
Western European sales to stagnate in 2020-2025
Major decline in sales in Turkey in recent years
Strong growth for dishwashers in Portugal over 2015-2020
Big gains for refrigeration appliances during the pandemic in 2020
Demand for freezers spikes in 2020
Electronics and appliance specialist retailers the leading channel
E-commerce records dynamic growth in 2020

Leading Companies and Brands

High levels of concentration among the top five players in most markets
Haier gaining share in Western Europe
Biggest sales shares for BSH, Arçelik and Miele in their home markets
AEG moves up the rankings as Candy holds on to fifth place in 2020

Forecast Projections

After the spike in major appliances sales in Western Europe in 2020…
…stagnating annual growth rates are expected in the forecast period

Country Snapshots

Austria: Market Context
Austria: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Denmark: Market Context
Denmark: Competitive and Retail Landscape
France: Market Context
France: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Germany: Market Context
Germany: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Greece: Market Context
Greece: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Italy: Market Context
Italy: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Netherlands: Market Context
Netherlands: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Norway: Market Context
Norway: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Portugal: Market Context
Portugal: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Spain: Market Context
Spain: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Sweden: Market Context
Sweden: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Turkey: Market Context
Turkey: Competitive and Retail Landscape
United Kingdom: Market Context
United Kingdom: Competitive and Retail Landscape


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